Chapter 3:too crunk to handle
Danny’s love for rap music grew with every day. He hadn’t talked to Jacob for a while, but he knew Jacob would get over it. He didn’t want to risk anyone finding out about it. Mrs. Dominici called Danny down for dinner one night.
“It was odd... yesterday at church Marsha and Lyle Hatchbacks seemed like they were ignoring us.” His mother was saying to his father when he came into the kitchen. It had been a week since Jacob stormed out of the house. Danny thought he knew what was going on, and he was worried that Jacob might tell on him. “I didn’t notice.” His father said. “Something weird was going on with Mrs. James” chimed in Jezebel. “She stood by herself in a corner afterwards- kind of fidgeting. She looked like she was scared of something.” But no one had any idea what the horrible truth really was, not even Danny…
As Danny walked out to the field to start his chores the next morning, the weather was wonderfully weathery. The sky was clear, the breeze was cool, and the very air smelled like happiness and toasted muffins. He reflected on his newfound passion, and wondered how he could fulfill his dream. Would he run away? He thought about it, but realized whenever he tried to do something like that, about half way through he would realize, “Hey, I’m twelve.” and something would go horribly wrong. He didn’t know of anyone he could talk to about it, because technology of most sorts was strongly looked down upon by everyone he knew. “Maybe I could just show them!” he pondered to himself, “Maybe once they see what it’s like they’ll see it’s a good thing?” but then he realized again, he was twelve. “I wonder if there are any twelve year old rappers…” he thought to himself. “I doubt it. No one wants to listen to a kid rapping.”
Danny decided to start practicing. What would he sing about? Would he sing about food? Would he sing about singing? He didn’t know what to sing about, so he sang about what his favorite rappers sang about. He sang of love and betrayal, he sang of guns and crime. He sang about haters, he sang about respect, he sang about revenge. But what love and betrayal was he singing about? He didn’t have any idea. What guns and crime was he singing about? He didn’t know that either. The only thing he connected with was respect. He wanted respect. From then on he walked with a new swagger.
Jezebel started to wonder what had become of the quiet mischievous brother she had known. He was walking differently, he was talking differently. Now he was disappearing for hours like he always had, but by himself. He hadn’t been away from the house much since he and Jacob had quit talking. And what was that about? Jezebel wanted to get to the bottom of it. She started tagging along behind him at a safe distance when he would leave the house by himself. He was walking out to the woods- that wasn’t so strange, but he was going farther than any time she had gone with him. She stayed far enough away that he wouldn’t notice her following. She was afraid to get close enough to hear him, because he might hear her and she’d never find out what was going on. One day she got close enough to see him take a strange little box out of his pocket. “What on earth is that?” she wondered. She left as quickly as she could to go think it over. What did all this mean? What was the little box?
Jezebel kept following Danny into the woods, but he seemed to be getting suspicious. If she got close he would take a long route back around to the house and wouldn’t go back for a few days. One day while he was out doing chores in the garden she went into his room to see if there was anything unusual inside. She looked high and low, but didn’t see anything out of the ordinary. She sat down and thought for a while, trying to understand it. She decided to look one more time… she looked under his bed in his box of old toys. She finally spotted the little box! As she took it out, she heard footsteps coming towards the door. She knew it was too late to try to put it back. Danny opened the door, and Jezebel saw his face turn white as a sheet.
Chapter 4: in which Jacob finds out that a whale in a whirl pool is a difficult thing to move
“What are you doing in here?!” demanded Danny. “What were you doing with this?” Jezebel replied. “You know you shouldn’t have something like this! Where did you get it, anyway?” she demanded. “I… I found it under a bush. What’s so wrong about it, anyway? We all enjoy music, it’s just made for listening to music.” Danny said. “It’s just wrong!” Jezebel said, frustrated. “Whatever. You aren’t going to tell anyone, are you?” Danny asked, “No one will get in trouble if no one finds out.” “Oh, fine.” She sighed. “If anything else like this shows up, though, I’m telling Preacher James.”
Days went by, and with every day the fear in Danny’s little hip-hop heart grew that Jacob or Jezebel would spill the proverbial beans. Danny was afraid to go off by himself as often after Jezebel had followed him. He still found opportunities to practice his rapping. Whenever he did, he found himself swaying strangely with the music. It was as if his feet were in the music as much as his heart. He honestly didn’t know what came over him whenever he heard the music.
All this time, Jacob had been seething. He had always been envious of the modern world, and now part of it had come to his best friend and he didn’t even get the chance to touch it. He felt cheated. He felt betrayed. He felt like no one cared about him, like he was an outcast. He sat around, alternating moping and brooding, then back to moping again. He knew how he could get back at Danny, but was he mean enough to do it? Day after day it got worse, and he found himself thinking about it more every day. He’d had the last laugh before, but it was usually because he didn’t get the joke. This time it would be for a different reason.
How could he do it? Who to tell? Jacob’s head swam for its life as the ideas swirled around in a whirlpool of deadly, whirling whirlpool-ness. He couldn’t tell Danny’s parents, because he knew that Danny’s mother was a despicable liar and would hide it from everyone instead of doing something about it. He couldn’t tell Preacher James, because he had gotten in enough trouble on his own that the preacher wouldn’t listen to him. After hours of pondering and wandering around in his whirlpooling head, he finally hit the solution. He had heard rumors of Mrs. James being quite the fan of rumors. If those rumors were true, he could start a whale of a rumor that could prove to be exactly what he was looking for. His next task was to figure out how to best get this whale of a rumor out of the whirlpool in his head and into the mind of the town’s resident rumor enthusiast. You see, getting a whale out of any kind of water is a hard task, and getting a whale out of a whirlpool is even harder than you can probably imagine. Now, add onto that the fact that Jacob’s head wasn’t the cleverest of heads, and you have a bit of a pickle of a predicament. He swirled and whirled that whirlpool until he concocted the perfect story.
Mrs. James was baking a batch of especially tasty looking macaronis when a frantic knock came at the door. “My pudding pie, what on earth is the matter?” gasped Mrs. James when she saw the distraught Jacob Hatchbacks at the door. “Is it alright if I come inside, ma’am? I need to… uh… sit down for a minute.” “Why, I suppose so. You look like you’ve been running for miles, child. Now would you please tell me what is the matter?” Mrs. James asked. “Well, I’ve been running for miles.” “I can see that, but why have you been running?” “Well, I was trying to get away.” Jacob said as he caught his breath. “Child, would you please explain what on earth you are talking about?!” “Well, Danny Dominici was chasing me.” They both sat in strained silence for a few minutes before an exasperated Mrs. James screamed, “CHILD IF YOU DON’T EXPLAIN YOURSELF RIGHT NOW I WILL SHOVE THESE MACARONIS IN YOUR LITTLE NOSE.” Jacob sat there for a moment before saying, “Well, I found out something he didn’t want me to find out about. He got mad…” “Well do you mind saying what you found out? Maybe then I’d be able to help.” Mrs. James responded. Jacob thought a moment, and said “I found out he had a… a forbidden device.”
Mrs. James’ mind raced. Could he have found it? She hadn’t been able to find the device after she threw it out the window in her panic weeks before. She had worried every day about where it could be. She barely kept herself from panicking into another panic frenzied panic. She realized this. The only problem was that she didn’t realize it quite in time to keep herself from going into said panic-frenzied panic. When Jacob felt it was safe enough to peek out from under the sofa, he saw a frightening sight. The furniture was overturned, baked goods were scattered everywhere, and Mrs. James was sitting on the floor with a blank, horrified look on her face. “Thank you for your help, Mrs. James.” Jacob said, quietly. He then took the opportunity to run out the door screaming.